Publisher Sega have joined the growing number of companies across the games industry to issue statements supporting reproductive rights, and have gone a step further than most by offering to match employee donations to non-profits supporting that cause. Sega’s decision comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of the Roe v. Wade ruling last month, which had enshrined abortion rights at a federal level for almost half a century.
“At Sega, we stand for equality and believe the ability to make choices about one's body is a human right,” the company said on Twitter. “We are matching employee donations to Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation and other accredited non-profit organizations supporting reproductive rights selected by our team members.”
The reaction to Sega’s statement was, predictably, split. Responses veered from the now standard and, at best, naive “keep politics out of gaming” to cries of genocide. Others tweeted their thanks and appreciation of the move. Still others used the opportunity to bring up the state of the recently released Sonic Origins collection, for some reason.
Halo creators Bungie were among the first companies in the industry to make a statement about the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Bungie initially commented back in May on leaked plans to overturn the ruling, calling it a “direct attack on human rights” in a statement posted on the company’s site. They continued by pointing out that the decision would have “far-reaching consequences that will be felt for generations across socio-economic lines”.
Several Sony-owned studios, including Bungie, Sony Santa Monica, Insomniac, Sucker Punch and Bend, issued statements following the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24th. “As we continue to expand our digital-first workplace to more states,” Bungie said in an update to theirs, “we will now be implementing a travel reimbursement program for any employee to use when they or a dependent cannot get access to the healthcare they need where they live.“
Other developers and publishers including Xbox, Bethesda, Humble Bundle, EA, Ubisoft, Naughty Dog, Devolver Digital and Maxis have also shared statements in support of reproductive freedom and women’s rights in recent weeks.